US entry ban for Romanian politician imprisoned for graft

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BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — The U.S. State Department says it is banning an imprisoned Romanian politician from entering the country because of his involvement in “significant corruption.”

The decision announced Thursday affects Liviu Dragnea, a former chairman of the ruling Social Democratic Party serving a 3½-year prison term in a graft case, and his two children.

Dragnea was found to have intervened to keep two women employed by his party on the payroll of a state agency.

Until his sentencing in May, Dragnea was considered the country’s most powerful politician even though he could not become prime minister because of a 2016 conviction for vote rigging.

The State Department said that “today’s action sends a strong signal that the United States is committed to fighting corruption and supporting the rule of law in Romania.”

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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